Kosovo temporarily bans Serb officials from entering country

In this photo taken Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, a car passes by a billboard that reads: '"Welcome, President" and shows Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, near village of Lesak in northern Kosovo. Kosovo has temporarily banned Serbian officials from entering the country, triggering angry reaction from Belgrade. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo has temporarily banned Serbian officials from entering the country, triggering an angry reaction from Belgrade.

Kosovo's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that because of "Serbia's threats against Kosovo and continuous propaganda" all requests by Serbian officials "will be rejected as long as this behavior continues."

The move comes after Serbian officials claimed Kosovo's government was trying to create a "humanitarian crisis" in the country's Serb-populated north with a 100% import tax slapped on Serbian goods last year.

Serbia does not recognize the 2008 independence declaration of Kosovo, a former Serbian province.

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin says the entry ban is an attempt to "cut ties" between Kosovo Serbs and Serbia, and "this simply won't be allowed to happen."

Serb officials need entry permits from Pristina to visit Kosovo.

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